Bolo (Synergistic Software)
Bolo is a 1982 video game written for the Apple II series of computers, published by Synergistic Software. It was inspired by Keith Laumer's 1976 science fiction novel Bolo: Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade, which featured self-aware tanks. It is unrelated to the 1987 tank game (also titled Bolo) written by Stuart Cheshire for the BBC Micro; the manual for the Cheshire game describes the identical naming as an "unfortunate coincidence".
Identifier Bolo_1982_Synergistic_SoftwareScanner Internet Archive Python library 0.4.4Mediatype softwarePublicdate 2013-11-04 22:57:13Addeddate 2013-11-04 22:57:13Date 1982Year 1982Emulator apple2eEmulator_ext doBackup_location ia905709_13
Upon startup Bolo requests a level number (1–9) and density (1–5); the game then generates a random rectangular maze containing six enemy bases. The higher the density specified, the more walls appear in the maze. The player controls a tank, and must destroy the six enemy bases to advance to the next level. The player can view 1/132 of the maze at one time; indicators on the right side of the screen show the player's position within the maze, the direction of the enemy bases and the fuel remaining. Enemy tanks constantly emerge from each of the six enemy bases. Different levels feature different types of enemy tanks; some move randomly while others pursue the player. All enemy tanks fire deadly shells. If the player collides with a bullet, an enemy base or tank, or a wall, a turn is lost. A turn is also lost if the player runs out of fuel; destroying an enemy base will replenish the player's fuel supply. The player is provided with four tanks per game, and no opportunity is provided to earn more. Once all six enemy bases are destroyed, the player is presented with a congratulatory message from the Dinochrome Brigade, and a new maze (with the same level and density) is generated. The player can turn the tank's gun turret with 1 and 2 keys, a necessity in more advanced levels as enemies give chase at top speed. Bolo features rare pixel-perfect collision detection, giving the game a solid feel compared to other games.
A 1996 Vox Day review of the tank game Assault Rigs cites Bolo as an influence, describing the setup of Assault Rigs as a cross between Bolo and the 1982 film Tron. In 2010 Time columnist Lev Grossman placed Bolo at number three out of "The 10 Greatest Games for the Apple II". Grossman praised the game's "seriously fast action, smooth scrolling, elegant graphics and surprisingly nice AI enemies."